In the world of Formula One, the only thing certain seems to be uncertainty itself. An uncertainty over whether Max Verstappen or Sir Lewis Hamilton is the favourite for the F1 Drivers’ title; an uncertainty over whether AlphaTauri or Alpine F1 Team will claim fifth in the constructors’ Championship and still and an uncertainty over the rules for racing. Carlos Sainz has explained that the drivers on the F1 grid are still uncertain over the rules of engagement when it comes to overtaking. This uncertainty has resulted from the ongoing fallout from the infamous incident at this year’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix which saw Lewis Hamilton run off track by Max Verstappen. According to Sainz, the rules are still ‘not clear’ and that could be worrying with just two races of the season remaining.
As has been well documented and painstakingly debated, Max Verstappen (in his attempt to retain the lead) ran Lewis Hamilton off track at Turn 4 during the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. Such a maneuver went unpunished by the race stewards at the time and Mercedes right to review the incident was not approved. Unfortunately, the story is far from over and Carlos Sainz believes that the discussion about racing rules will continue into the off-season long after the titles are decided.
This has been shown in Sainz’ comments to select media, as reported by racingnews365.com. Despite the fact that the drivers met with the FIA to discuss what is acceptable in the rules of engagement for overtaking ahead of last weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix, according to Sainz, more clarity is required.
"In terms of racing approach, it's not very clear still," Sainz explained "I think you've heard us already talk about this because we don't know exactly what is going to happen race by race…it looks like in the winter there's going to be a deeper conversation about the way that we go racing that hopefully should clarify things a bit more."
There has already been another well documented misgiving, this time from Lewis Hamilton. The seven-time F1 Drivers' Champion stated that "It's still not clear what the limits of that track are…so we just go for it.”
Meanwhile, the man at the center of the debate F1 Race Director Michael Masi, clearly disagrees: "I think it's been made clear to them what is expected," Masi explained. "I think some of them agree, some of them disagree. That's always with each and every one of them, they have agreed and disagreed all the way through."
With just two races remaining of a captivating season remaining, what every race fan must surely hope for is that there is no disagreement over who the F1 Drivers’ Champion is. The same goes for a closely contested F1 Constructors’ Championship battle.
We all want to see clean fair racing. Therefore, if there really is uncertainty over where the line is (in more ways than one) let’s hope that drivers’ urge on the side of caution. We want to see the titles of 2021 decided on track and not in the appeal courts. As for what the future of racing rules in 2022 will look like - that is still uncertain!